Flames burn Shamrocks in gritty matchup

MacLeod and Brodt lead Flames attack against the Armstrong Shamrocks

The South Okanagan Flames’ offence was on fire Monday at Memorial Arena against the Armstrong Shamrocks.

Heading into Monday’s Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League (TOJLL) action, the Flames averaged just under 11 goals per game. In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Flames outperformed the gritty Shamrocks for a 15-5 victory. The Flames were led by captain Kaid MacLeod who returned to action after missing three weeks from a separated shoulder to score six goals on Cole MacFarlane, while Mitch Brodt scored four. Chris Pond, TOJLL’s leading scorer, scored once, and assisted on eight goals.

“I thought we had a good game. One of our better games of the year,” said MacLeod, who has 22 goals and 42 points in eight games. “We played hard for the whole game. We haven’t been able to do that a lot this year.”

The Flames improved to seven wins with five losses. They had a 6-3 lead after the first period, which grew to 10-5 after two. MacLeod credited the Flames’ running game for distancing themselves from the Shamrocks.

“We tired them out half way through the second period. They didn’t have a lot left in them,” said MacLeod, who added two assists. “We just kept running them out of energy. They couldn’t keep up with us.”

Also scoring for the Flames were Connor Walton with a hat-trick, Isaiah Kozak, Brenden Deverill and Pond, who leads TOJLL with 28 goals and 84 points in 12 games. Also trying to hit the scoresheet was goalie Dean Grimm, who finished with three assists and struck two posts. During delayed penalties, Grimm joined the Flames attack, which drew plenty of attention by the Shamrocks.

“He likes to do it. They hate it,” said MacLeod. “They hate it so much. I think that’s part of why he does it. It’s not something you see very often unless you are watching our games. Dean will do it all the time. Most goalies don’t do it and the other team doesn’t like it. That’s why we like to do it.”

“I’ve been trying to do that for a while,” said Grimm, who has one goal this season while playing out.

Asked about the special attention paid to him by the Shamrocks, he said he’s a target every time by opponents when  he aims for their net.

“As soon as I come down, everyone swarms over,” he said. “A lot of times I will go down on offence and they will swarm and I will pass away and we get a free shot on net.

“They were trying to hit me pretty hard,” he continued. “My teammates stood up for me. I don’t feel it in the gear.”